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Simple Green Salad

7 Jan Mixed Green Simple Salad

Sometimes the best meals are the simplest. I made this salad last November, on a warm (yes, Los Angeles is warm in November) Saturday. I walked down to my local Ralph’s grocery store (and boy did it feel good to get out and go for a walk!), wandered the produce section and returned excited for a simple, yet delicious lunch.

The thing I love most about salads is you can add pretty much whatever you want and you can add whatever dressing you see fit. You can top it with cooked salmon, chicken, beef, tuna, whatever protein your heart desires. Don’t like tomatoes? Don’t add them! Throw in some mushrooms or squash instead! Make the salad the main course, or make it your side dish, you decide! Leave a comment with what you like in your salad!

Mixed Green Simple Salad Ingredients L-R: 50-50 Blend, Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette, Hard Boiled Egg, Avocado, Feta Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes

Mixed Green Simple Salad Ingredients L-R: 50-50 Blend, Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette, Hard Boiled Egg, Avocado, Feta Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes

SIMPLE GREEN SALAD (serves 1)

  • 50-50 Blend of Spring Greens and Spinach
  • 1/2 Hard Boiled Egg
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 4 to 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Feta Cheese (enough to sprinkle on top)
  • Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (or other dressing of your choosing)

Start by chopping your hard-boiled egg into small chunks. Set aside and chop your avocado as well. I saved the other half for lunch the next day! Be sure to save the half with the seed still intact as it will slow the browning process down a bit. Chop up your cherry tomatoes (or half of a Roma tomato) into bite site pieces. Some people like to just eat cherry tomatoes whole, but because I have sensitive teeth, I need my tomatoes in smaller form so my teeth don’t freak out on me.

Hard Boiled Egg

Hard Boiled Egg

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

avocado

Fresh avocado! Yum!

Since this was my lunch, I pulled out a shallow pasta plate to use as my dish. I grabbed a large handful, plus a little bit more, of my 50-50 blend (make sure you wash yours if it doesn’t come pre-washed) and placed in the plate. I sprinkled the tomato slices, egg and avocado pieces around the entire bed of greens. Then I sprinkled some feta cheese on top, making sure to break up the extra-large chunks. Make sure everything is evenly distributed so you get a little bit of everything in each bite. I then dressed my salad very lightly, then put a little more in a little dipping bowl and dipped my fork in it every now and then. The dressing was from Trader Joe’s and is also a great marinade for chicken. It was a great lunch and so healthy too!

Mixed Green Simple Salad

Mixed Green Simple Salad

Mixed Green Simple Salad

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Pear And Apple Arugula Salad

29 Apr

It’s finally spring in Los Angeles! It had been staying in the 60s for quite some time, but it finally got up to the 80s (and 90s in the valley) and it looks like it will be staying there. Our nights are still cool, which I like, but spring is definitely here to stay. So on a clear and warm Saturday afternoon I saw my pears sitting in my kitchen and decided I wanted to make a salad with them. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I live one long block away from my local Whole Foods Market. So I pulled on my shoes, grabbed a reusable bag, my headphones and purse and walked down to the market. I picked up fresh arugula, blue cheese, and Greek yogurt (which would be for dessert with brandied figs that my dad canned himself). I walked back home, very excited for my lunch. I had no specific recipe in mind, just that I wanted a fresh salad. I made half the recipe (ie. for two people) below since I didn’t want soggy salad later on. My roommate and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! And dessert was even better!

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Arugula, Red Apple, Red Onion, Pear, Blue Cheese, Salt and Pepper, Salad Greens, Balsamic Vinegar

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Arugula, Red Apple, Red Onion, Pear, Blue Cheese, Salt and Pepper, Salad Greens, Balsamic Vinegar

PEAR AND APPLE ARUGULA SALAD (serves 4)

  • 1 Pear
  • 1 Apple (preferably a sweet red)
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Arugula
  • 3 or 4 oz Blue Cheese (any variety)
  • 1-2 Cups Salad Greens (add any variety and the amount to your needs)
  • 1/2 of a Red Onion (optional)

Wash your arugula to get any dirt off and pat dry in a few paper towels. Chop off the leaves and throw into a large salad bowl along with any additional salad greens of your choice. Slice your pear into thin slices. I chopped my pear in half then thinly sliced the pear. Chop your apple into slices or into small chunks. I used a Pacific Rose apple. Pink Lady’s or Galas would also be good. Toss into the salad bowl. Chop your red onion and add to salad.

Sliced Pear

Sliced Pear

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad with red onions.

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad with red onions.

Crumble your blue cheese onto the salad. I used Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese. One thing I love about Whole Foods is they give recommendations for each of their cheeses. This one said it paired well with pears and apples and it smelled delicious! (I know not everyone loves the smell of blue cheese, but it’s one of my favorites!).

Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese

Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese

Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese ready for crumbling.

Maytag Iowa Blue Cheese ready for crumbling.

Toss with a simple vinaigrette dressing. I used equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad ready for tossing!

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad ready for tossing!

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad was delicious!

Pear and Apple Arugula Salad was delicious!

For dessert I served plain Greek Yogurt with brandied figs that my dad canned himself. It was thoroughly delicious and a great way to finish off lunch.

Brandied Figs and Plain Greek Yogurt

Brandied Figs and Plain Greek Yogurt

Brandied Figs and Plain Greek Yogurt for Dessert! Yummmm!!!!

Brandied Figs and Plain Greek Yogurt for Dessert! Yummmm!!!!

Chicken Salad

15 Mar

In the summer of 2006 I worked at a sandwich shop in my hometown, Anne Lang’s Emporium. It was there that I learned how to make the perfect sandwich as well as various deli salads. One of my favorites: chicken salad. For lunch I would lightly toast my bread, add chicken salad, sprouts and tomato slices and enjoy a delicious lunch. So when I decided to give up carbs in my lunches recently, I decided to make tuna and chicken salads and enjoy with salad greens and a light dressing. Both are packed with protein and a few veggies. Plus I can make two or three ahead of time which makes my mornings go by much faster. While the pictures below show using canned chicken, I started using fresh chicken and grilling it on my stove top. It adds a little extra time, but I can taste the difference and it’s so much better (and healthier)!

Chicken Salad Ingredients L-R: Sage, Water Chestnuts, Onion, Lemon Juice, Mayonnaise, Celery, Grilled Chicken, Salt & Pepper

Chicken Salad Ingredients L-R: Rosemary, Water Chestnuts, Onion, Lemon Juice, Mayonnaise, Celery, Grilled Chicken, Salt & Pepper

CHICKEN SALAD (2-3 servings)

  • 10 oz. Can of Cooked Chicken (or 1 boneless/skinless chicken breast cooked)
  • 1/4 Cup of Water Chestnuts
  • 1 Stalk Celery
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion (preferably purple or yellow)
  • 3 or 4 Tbsp of Mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Powder to taste (optional)
DSCN6767

To chop the celery, slice down the middle of the stalk to make thinner pieces, then chop into small pieces.

Onion

Water Chestnuts

Chop your chicken into tiny pieces and place in a small to medium mixing bowl. I like them to be about the size of my pinky fingernail or smaller. Finely chop your onion, celery and water chestnuts and add to your chicken. Add in your mayonnaise and stir until the mayo coats everything. Instead of measuring out the mayo though, I usually use one scoop with a soup spoon. Always start with less mayo than you think you need and add small amounts as needed. Salt and pepper the mix to taste (about 1/4 tsp of each). Add in the lemon juice, and since I had fresh rosemary in my fridge, I added about 1/2 a teaspoon. I also like to add a little garlic powder as a lover of garlic. And voila-all done!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

I put in the smallest Tupperware containers which are 1/2 cup sizes. Depending on the size of the chicken breast I can make 2 or 3 servings. Place them in the fridge and pull out as needed. Enjoy with salad greens, on a sandwich, or just by itself.

All ready to go for lunch!

All ready to go for lunch!

Leftover Turkey Sandwich

23 Jan

I think I make the best leftover turkey sandwich. Ever. But that’s just my humble opinion. My mom doesn’t like my sandwich, but that might be because there’s no lettuce or tomatoes. But it’s a sandwich I only get to make for about a week once a year so I enjoy every bite and every calorie. It’s a portable Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, how can you not love that? I know it’s way past the holidays, but keep this handy for next year!

Turkey Leftover Sandwich ready for consumption!

Turkey Leftover Sandwich ready for consumption!

LEFTOVER HOLIDAY TURKEY SANDWICH (serves 1)

Take a spoon and spread a little gravy on both slices of bread. Sometimes I heat it up a little bit in the microwave (about 20-30 seconds). Lay your turkey on one slice. Make sure the turkey covers the entire piece of bread, corner to corner. You want to make sure you’re getting turkey in every single bite! Heat up your stuffing (about 20-30 seconds) and lay over the turkey, about 1/2 inch from the edge because when you squish it down and as you eat the stuffing will move around. If you have any of the glazed pearl onions left over put a few on top of the stuffing. Then cover with cranberry sauce, again, not quite to the edge as it will also move around. Place your second piece of bread on top and voila-delicious turkey sandwich! If you’re out of gravy, you can also use Dijon mustard, or do one piece of bread with gravy (your top slice) and the bottom slice by the turkey with the Dijon mustard. I hope you enjoy the sandwich as much as I do!

 Close-Up of the layers of the Turkey Leftover Sandwich

Close-Up of the layers of the Turkey Leftover Sandwich

Turkey Leftover Sandwich

Turkey Leftover Sandwich

Super Easy Sweet Potato Meal

3 Dec

Have you ever just wanted a hot, low-fat, nutrition rich, filling and easy dinner that doesn’t come from the freezer? Well I have the solution for you! Meet the amazing sweet potato with chili on top! Growing up, I remember my mom heating a sweet potato up and putting veggies on top as her dinner or lunch, but until just this year, I had never tried it myself. My mom had sent me back to LA from their house with a small bag of “groceries” from the cupboard and one item was a single serving of vegetarian chili that was microwavable. When I got home I stuck it in my own cupboard and kind of forgot about it for a few weeks. I found it again one afternoon and thought about what I could do with it (I didn’t want to eat it alone), so I was at my local Ralph’s and thought about getting a good old russet potato to serve with the chili. I noticed the sweet potatoes were on sale and my memory of my mom popped into my head. I grabbed a good-sized one and started looking forward to dinner.

Sweet potato with meat chili ready to eat!

Sweet potato with meat chili ready to eat!

That evening, I took the sweet potato, poked some holes in it with my fork and popped it in the microwave. Yes, you can also stick it in the oven, it just takes longer, about 30 minutes.  So I popped mine in the microwave for 5 minutes and heated up the chili on the stove. They were both done about the same time. I removed the potato and cut it in half and smashed it out so it lay flat and poured the chili on top. Oh. My. God. It was so delicious I was mad at myself for not doing it sooner! Now I regularly buy a couple of sweet potatoes and a can of Stagg Chili (it has 2 servings and is also one of the best pre-made chilis on the shelf) to have just in case during the fall and winter. I get home and am starving? Dinner is done in less than 10 minutes and it wasn’t frozen. What would you want to put on your sweet potato?

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